Turbulence Spotlight: "30 Days of New Life" by Douglas Gast
"30 Days of New Life" comprises a series of performances in which a team of cartographers relocates to a new city for 30 days. The first performance took place in 2008 in Berlin, Germany; the second will occur in summer 2009. During the performances, the cartographers work with local residents to identify places and people that are personally, artistically, historically or culturally significant. Essentially, the performances result in an online interactive map. The map is created using Google Maps and the project’s website. Each point of interest includes a description, information gathered from local residents/sources, reflections, images, and/or video.
The cartographers do not control what gets included in the map. Local residents make suggestions and it is their suggestions that ultimately build it.
Douglas Gast is an exhibiting artist and educator. While typically digital or electronic in nature, his work involves the identification and activation of the inherent elements of the media which stands to best serve his chosen message. The role of his art is twofold: It strives to clarify the very definition of art while concurrently utilizing the fundamental properties of the media to construct idea systems. These idea systems are designed to be thought through, instead of thought of, and ultimately call into question some typical socio-political situation or structure.
Gast’s projects take the form of videos, films, images, websites, sculptures, performances, books and installations. They have been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally in places like Chicago, Seattle, Cincinnati, Nashville, Austin, Madison and NYC as well as Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Canada. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University where he teaches in support of the Digital Technology and Culture program.
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